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Gladiators Defeat Norfolk 7-4 Thursday Night

Thursday, October 6th
Gladiators Defeat Norfolk 7-4 Thursday Night

Playing in their first preseason match-up of the 2016-2017 season, the Atlanta Gladiators defeated the Norfolk Admirals 7-4 Thursday night at The Cooler in Alpharetta, GA.

The Gladiators opened the scoring early in the matchup when Johnny Daniels netted the home team’s first goal. The rookie forward scored his first of the preseason after receiving a pass from Tyler Shiplo in the slot. Along with Shiplo, Brad Navin picked up the secondary assist on the goal that made it 1-0 Atlanta just 33 seconds in.

Not five minutes later, the home team struck again and doubled the lead to 2-0 in favor of Atlanta. This time, secondyear Gladiator Eric Neiley sent a puck from the corner to the front of the net, where it trickled between the legs of the Norfolk goalie, Connor Knapp. Neiley’s first of the preseason was assisted by Atlanta area native Drew Baker at 5:32 into the opening frame.

The Admirals would then cut the deficit in half and make the score 2-1 with a little over half the period remaining. Norfolk defenseman Adam Phillips took a hard slap shot from the point that made its way past the Atlanta goalie, Austin Keiser, who was screened on the play. Mike Krieg was credited with an assist on the play after he picked up the loose puck in the zone and sent a crisp pass right to the former Kalamazoo Wing. Both men picked up their first point on the play.

It did not take long for Norfolk to get on the scoresheet again, as Jeff DiNallo made a quick turnaround shot in the low slot to tie the game at 2-2 only 50 seconds later. The forward's power play goal was his first of the preliminary games,and was assisted by Anthony Calabrese and Paul Rodrigues.

Atlanta was able to regain their lead, however, when Johnny Daniels scored his second of the game with only 36 seconds remaining in the first. The Gladiators forward was able to redirect a pass from Neiley over the pad of Knapp. The goal sent Atlanta into the first intermission with a 3-2 lead.

The Gladiators once again started the period quickly, this time picking up their fourth goal just 23 seconds into the second. Newcomer Bryan Cameron tallied his first of the perseason after being the last to bat at a rebound in front of the net. On the play both Jacob Bolton and Tyler Murovich picked up their first assists, and Atlanta expanded the lead to 4-2.

After spending time in the box early in the period, the home team was able to regroup and score their third straight on a shot from Justin Buzzeo 9:27 into the middle frame. The Ontario native picked up his first of the preseason by sending a laser past the glove of Knapp. Artur Drindrozhik notched his first point on the play that made it 5-2 for Atlanta.

Norfolk then was able to cut the score to 5-3 on a goal by Malcolm Gould with less than five minutes remaining in the period. The Admirals forward had no trouble finding the back of the net, as he skated through the defenders for an easy tally. Nick MacNeil was the player credited with the assist after he put a pass right on the blade of Gould.

The Admirals continued their strong comeback attempt as they made the score 5-4 on a goal from Louis Belisle with 2:02 remaining in the period. The forward used his small stature to sneak through the Atlanta defense and to the net mouth. There, he out in an easy rebound for his first of the exhibition season. Gould and Phillips both received their second point of the night with an assist on the play.

Atlanta would regain their two goal lead just 1:08 into the final period. Daniels continued his offensive tear by picking up his third goal of the night for the Hat Trick. The 5-10 forward was able to pick the corner of the net and send a quick shot past Knapp making the score 6-4. Navin tallied his second assist of the night, while Patrick McCadden notched his first point in Garnett and Gold with the secondary assist.

Atlanta was able to put the game away with just 30.7 seconds left in the game after Patrick McEachen sent the puck into the empty net for the Gladiators seventh goal. Buzzeo and Neiley each got an assist on the play.

With the 7-4 win on “home” ice, the Gladiators improved to 1-0 after just one preseason game. Up next the Gladiators will host division rival the Greenville Swamp Rabbits in their final preseason tilt. The puck drops at 7:05 at the Duluth Ice Forum on Saturday night..

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